Stress is one of the biggest issues of the 21st century, and many scientific studies have indicated how it affects the mental and physical health of people.
According to one study, 33% of the people reported that they feel extreme stress, and 77% said that stress affects their mental health.
As stress is a very big issue, wearable companies have introduced the stress monitoring feature in their smartwatches which allows users to monitor their stress and take measures to Ease it.
In this WearToTrack Guide, I’ll tell you about how stress monitoring works on smartwatches and how reliable it is. Also, I’ll share the best smartwatches with stress monitoring.
Let’s get started.
Why Is Stress Monitoring An Important Feature?
Stress is one of the biggest problems in the 21st century, and it affects the physical and mental health of people. Many people usually ignore it, but it affects a person at so many levels that it makes it difficult for them to survive. It starts with headaches, tiredness, laziness, high blood pressure, obesity, and other issues which affect a person’s productivity and other affairs of life.
According to WHO, Stress is the “Epidemic of the 21st century,” which shows how badly it’s affecting millions of people around the world. However, stress is manageable, and you can easily take measures to ease stress. In this process, the first step will be to find out if you are stressed, and you can do it by using a stress monitoring app. If you have stress, the second step will be to seek medical help and use proven methods such as exercise, listening to music, going for a walk, and others to ease stress.
How Does Stress Monitoring Smartwatches Work?
Stress detection is an easy task for smartwatches because they come with dedicated sensors, which make it easier to detect stress. When you are under stress, your body exhibits various signs, which smartwatches can use to determine if you are under stress or not. In this section, I’ll share the two methods which smartwatches use to detect stress.
Using Heart rate Variability (HRV)
Modern smartwatches come with a highly precise heart rate monitor, which the smartwatch uses to track your heart movements. This sensor is capable of detecting heart-rate variability, which is basically the interval between each heartbeat. If your HRV is on the higher side, it means that you are calm and normal. On the other hand, if your HRV is low, it means that your heart is beating faster, and it’s a sign that you are under stress. So, the smartwatches use this metric to find if you are under stress or not.
Using Electrodermal Activity
The second method that a smartwatch uses to detect and monitor Stress is Electrodermal activity. It’s basically the variation of electrical activity on your skin due to changes in your sweat glands, and it reflects the change in your emotional state. In scientific terms, it’s also known as Galvanic Skin Response (GSR).
Modern smartwatches, such as Fitbit Sense, use advanced EDA Sensors to detect your skin’s response and monitor your stress.
It’s also interesting to note here that security agencies used GSR in their famous lie detector machines to find out if their apprehended individuals are telling the truth or not.
How Reliable Is Smartwatch Stress Monitoring?
The stress monitoring feature on smartwatches is not new, and it has improved a lot over the years. The smartwatches in 2022 are very accurate in terms of stress monitoring, but it’s also the fact that no technology is perfect, and its accuracy can get affected by many factors. In this section, I’ll briefly discuss the reliability of stress monitoring on smartwatches.
Let’s start with the Heart-rate Variability method, which is considered one of the most accurate methods for monitoring stress. According to one study, the HRV method can detect stress with 90% accuracy, which is pretty accurate.
On the other hand, if we look at the Electrodermal Activity (EDA) method, it’s accurate by 89%, which is also very decent, and this study was published by NIH. I’d also like to mention here the study related to EDA sensors was published back in 2017, and in the last 5 years, the EDA sensor has surely improved a lot. So, considering the advancement, it would be pretty safe to say that the new EDA sensors surely have an accuracy of more than 90%.
In the case of Fitbit Sense, the company claims that it uses a lot of other metrics along with other EDA to determine if a person is under stress or not. Also, the company has made a lot of improvements in its algorithm, which helps in the accurate detection of stress.
So, HRV and EDA are two very reliable methods for detecting stress, and you can surely use them to detect stress.
Can Smartwatch Stress Monitoring Replace Medical Exam?
Smartwatches in 2022 are surely very accurate, but they aren’t intended to replace medical exams. The real purpose behind introducing these features, such as stress monitoring, ECG, and others in smartwatches, is to allow the users to be conscious of their health and provide a possible hint about their mental and physical health. However, I’d not recommend you to fully on them because they can’t replace medical exams.
So, if you are someone who is under stress, I’d strongly recommend that you contact professional health personnel and get help.
What Are The Future And Challenges Of Stress Monitoring On Smartwatches?
Stress Monitoring sensors on smartwatches are already pretty accurate, but they are far from perfection, and over the next decade, we will see tons of improvement in this technology.
One of the biggest challenges for these sensors is to get accurate data, and the few ways to get accurate data are by expanding the sample set and getting input from other sensors on a smartwatch. It’s possible that the smartwatch of the future might come with more dedicated sensors to monitor stress, and if it happens, smartwatches will become better at detecting stress.
Overall, Stress Monitoring on smartwatches is still in early phases, and we will definitely see a lot of improvements in this department in the next 5 to 10 years.
Which Smartwatches Have Stress Monitoring In 2022?
In 2022, many smartwatches come with the stress monitoring feature, but I’ve handpicked the best one for you. These are the top 5 smartwatches with stress monitoring in 2022.
1. Fitbit Sense
Let’s start with Fitbit Sense which is dubbed as the “Health Smartwatch” by Fitbit, and it comes with an advanced EDA Sensor that accurately tracks your stress.
The best thing about Fitbit Sense is that it relies on information from other sensors along with EDA sensors which allow it to track your stress levels accurately.
Another thing that I liked the most about Fitbit Sense is that it comes with mindfulness sessions. In these mindfulness sessions, you can do exercises such as meditation, and the watch will use EDA and other sensors to monitor your stress levels.
Apart from stress monitoring, Fitbit Sense also comes with ECG, activity tracking, workout monitoring, and other promising features, which makes it an ideal option.
In terms of design, Fitbit Sense is very similar to other Fitbit smartwatches. You get the rectangular design with rounded edges, which gives it a modern look.
Also, it comes with an interchangeable strap option which allows you to use a variety of official and third-party straps with the watch. Overall, if you are looking for a smartwatch with stress monitoring and other health-centric features, Fitbit Sense is a solid option for you.
2. Galaxy Watch 4
Samsung Galaxy Watch 4 is one of the best smartwatches with stress monitoring in 2022. In this watch, you get the HRV-based stress monitoring system which is one of the most accurate methods for monitoring stress.
The best thing about Galaxy Watch 4 is that, like Fitbit Sense, it comes with breathing sessions that you can use to Ease stress. In my personal experience, I have found the breathing exercises very effective for short-term relief, but if you are someone who’s experiencing stress very often, I’d recommend that you get the help of professionals.
Galaxy Watch also comes with the advanced Bioactive sensor, which you can use to measure your ECG in real-time. Similarly, it also comes with dedicated sensors to measure your body composition, track your workouts, activities, and other metrics.
In terms of design, Galaxy Watch 4 comes in two versions. The classic version comes with a physical rotating bezel, while the second version, the regular one, comes with a more modern design.
Another highlight of Galaxy Watch 4 is that it comes with WearOS 3, which means that you will get the goodness of both Google and Samsung on the same smartwatch, which is pretty rare.
Overall, if you want a WearOS smartwatch with stress monitoring, ECG, and other advanced features, Galaxy Watch 4 is the best option for you.
3. Fitbit Charge 5
Fitbit Charge 5 is a premium and advanced fitness band which offers very accurate stress monitoring. It’s the only fitness band that comes with the EDA sensor, which is the same sensor you will find on Fitbit Sense. The fitness band uses its advanced sensors to monitor your stress level accurately.
In Fitbit Charge 5, you also get mindfulness sessions that help you relieve stress. Also, it allows you to keep track of your stress via a stress management score which lets you know about your stress management.
Apart from these awesome features, Fitbit charge 5 also comes with regular features such as activity tracking, workout tracking, daily readiness, heart-rate tracking, and more. Also, the band comes with a very modern and attractive design along with a colorful display, which is icing on the top.
Overall, if you want a fitness band with stress management, EDA Sensor, and other advanced features, Fitbit Charge 5 is a solid option for you.
4. Garmin Venu 2
Garmin Venu 2 is one of the best smartwatches with stress monitoring in 2022. In this smartwatch, you get HRV-based stress monitoring which is pretty accurate, and you can use it to track your stress levels. Like other smartwatches, Garmin Venu 2 also offers stress levels between 0 to 100, with 0 being the lowest and 100 being the highest. If your stress level is between 0 to 25, it’s normal. If it’s between 26 to 50, you have a low-stress level. Similarly, if your stress level is between 51 to 75, you have medium stress, and if you have 76 to 100, you have high-stress levels.
Apart from stress monitoring, Garmin Venu 2 comes with other features such as heart-rate monitoring, cadence splits, activity tracking, Garmin coach training plans, and more.
Also, the design of the watch is also really good. It comes with a traditional round design with stainless steel bezel and fiber-reinforced polymer body, which gives the watch a very premium and sporty look.
Overall, if you want a Garmin smartwatch with stress monitoring, Garmin Venu 2 is a solid option for you.
5. Apple Watch Series 7
Apple Watch Series 7 is one of the most accurate smartwatches in the market, and it’s accurate in many departments, including Series 7. In the watch, you get an optical heart-rate sensor that tracks the heart-rate variability very accurately.
Like other smartwatches on the list, Apple Watch Series 7 doesn’t have a dedicated stress Monitoring feature, but it does track the metric which is used for tracking stress, and you can use third-party apps to get the stress tracking feature on your Apple Watch. Some of the best stress monitoring apps for the Apple Watch are Heart Rate & Stress Monitor and ActiveAce Stress Monitor.
In Apple Watch Series 7, you also get tons of other features such as ECG, Fall Detection, Activity tracking, workout tracking, sleep tracking, etc. If you are an iPhone user and want a smartwatch with stress monitoring, Apple Watch Series 7 is the ideal option for you.
If you want a budget option, you can also consider Apple Watch SE, which also allows you to add the stress monitoring feature via third-party apps.
Frequently Asked Questions [ FAQs ]
Which Samsung Smartwatches Have Stress Monitoring?
In 2022, almost all Samsung smartwatches come with stress monitoring, including Galaxy Watch 4 & Classic, Galaxy Watch 3, Galaxy Watch Active 2 & Active, and Galaxy Watch.
Which Apple Watches Have Stress Monitoring?
Apple Watch doesn’t have a dedicated stress monitoring feature, but it tracks HRV, and you can use third-party apps to get the stress monitoring features on your smartwatch. According to some rumors, Apple Watch Series 8 will probably come with a baked-in stress monitoring feature.
Which Garmin Smartwatches Have Stress Monitoring?
Garmin offers stress monitoring on almost all of its modern smartwatches, including Garmin Fenix 6, Garmin Forerunner lineup, Garmin Venu 2 and 2 Plus, Garmin Vivomove, Garmin Vivoactive, Garmin Swim 2, Garmin MARQ collection, and Garmin Tactix Delta.
Which Fitbit Smartwatches Have Stress Monitoring?
Fitbit offers stress monitoring on almost all of its smartwatches. In Fitbit Sense and Fitbit Charge 5, you get EDA-based stress monitoring. Similarly. HRV-based stress monitoring is available on Fitbit Charge 4, Inspire 2, Luxe, Versa 3, and Versa 3.
Can A Smartwatch Help With Stress?
If your smartwatch has a stress monitoring feature, it can surely help you monitor it, and it may offer exercises that can help you relieve stress temporarily. However, if you suffer from stress on an extreme level, it’s important that you get the professionals’ help.
Can An ECG Smartwatch Detect Stress?
As a Heart-rate optical sensor is used for measuring ECG and monitoring stress, it’s possible that your ECG smartwatch may detect stress as well, provided that your watch has a dedicated stress monitoring feature.
Which Sensor Does The Smartwatch Use To Monitor Stress?
Most smartwatches use optical heart rate monitor to track stress levels, but some modern smartwatches, such as Fitbit Sense, uses Electrodermal Activity (EDA) sensors to track stress.
Does Fitbit Versa 3 Use An EDA Sensor To Monitor Stress?
No, EDA Sensor is only available in Fitbit Sense and Fitbit Charge 5. All other Fitbit smartwatches use the HRV method to monitor stress levels.
Smartwatches with stress monitoring surely help a lot with monitoring and managing stress. They can be very useful for managing light stress levels, but if you have extreme stress, you should contact your doctors. I hope that you found this guide useful and if you have any questions regarding the topic, please let me know in the comments.
Also, tell me what you think about smartwatches with stress monitoring? Do you think that they are reliable? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section.
Also, check this guide where I have discussed the Garmin Stress Monitoring feature in detail.